Five perfect companions: A summer reading list

Anna Groeling

Whether you’re traveling, working or simply soaking up the rays this summer, a book can be the perfect companion. However, if you find your bookshelves a bit dusty, perhaps you’ll find a new adventure here:

The Sun Also Rises” — Ernest Hemingway


This novel centers around protagonist Jake Barnes, an American journalist living in Paris after World War I. Barnes travels from Paris to Spain with other American and British expatriates, immersing himself in the bullfights and nightlife of Europe.

Hemingway’s hard prose builds a gripping story — one reason why this novel established him as a great 20th century writer. The plot is based not only on actual events, but also on real people who were within Hemingway’s own circle.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)” — Mindy Kaling

Mindy Kaling gives off the best-friend vibe in her latest memoir, which fills its pages with lighthearted anecdotes about her life experiences.

Kaling, a writer, producer and actress of the television show “The Office” and star of “The Mindy Project,” carries a conversationalist style that makes it an easy read. For those looking for a book to make them smile and laugh, look no further.

And for those who read it and love it, look forward to her second book “Why Not Me?” which hits shelves this September.

Like Water for Chocolate”  Laura Esquivel

“Like Water for Chocolate” wanders between hard reality and fantasy.

The story takes place in Mexico, where the protagonist, Tita, is forbidden to marry the man she loves due to a family tradition which states that, as the youngest daughter, she will never be able to marry. Instead, her older sister will marry the man she loves. Tita must prepare all the food for the wedding, but her emotions cause the food to take on mysterious qualities.

“Like Water for Chocolate” explores the connection between food and memory, structuring each chapter around a new recipe that shapes Tita’s tragic situation. Warning: Don’t read this if you’re hungry.


Go Set a Watchman” — Harper Lee

Scheduled to be released July 14, this book marks a historical literary event. Lee originally wrote “Go Set a Watchman” in the mid-1950s, but it was assumed lost until 2014.

This installment expands on the characters from “To Kill a Mockingbird,” taking place 20 years after the classic. The plot revolves around Scout Finch, who travels to Alabama and soon struggles with political and personal issues in the small town.

The Night Circus” — Erin Morgenstern

“The Night Circus” has a split narrative that follows Marco and Celia, two young magicians trained for a single purpose: to win a duel. Both pupils enter without choice, pitted against each other by ancient magicians. Only one can live.

Morgenstern creates eloquent visuals when describing the mysterious circus and its players, yet surrounds her readers with a sinister undertone.

Collegian A&E Writer Anna Groeling can be reached at or on Twitter @agroeling.